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Association & Industry News

The Developing Industry Leaders (DIL) Program alumni are invited to a networking reception during NRMCA’s 2021 ConcreteWorks at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, FL, on Saturday, October 2, from 5 - 5:45 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall. The DIL program annually offers a limited number of company-nominated middle managers the unique opportunity to network with peers and senior leaders from across the country while also learning about issues and solutions facing the ready mixed concrete industry. Nominations are solicited every spring.

For more information about the reception or the DIL program itself, contact Eileen Dickson at edickson@nrmca.org.

The MIT Concrete Sustainabiility Hub (CSHub) has scheduled a webinar titled Addressing Climate Challenges with Cool Pavements: A Case Study of Boston and Phoenix for Thursday, September 23, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. The webinar will summarize the findings of a recent paper by CSHub researchers in environmental science and technology that investigates the effects of cool paving strategies in Boston and Phoenix. In the paper, the CSHub team explains how cool pavements could reduce peak summer air temperatures by around 3°F in both cities while also mitigating climate change impacts.

For a preview of the webinar, read this opinion piece in The Boston Globe written by CSHub's Co-director Dr. Randolph Kirchain. It outlines how and where cool pavements should be implemented to achieve the greatest benefits.

Click here for more information and to register. Questions from participants will be addressed after the presentation.

Government Affairs

With both the House and Senate back in session, Congress faces a long list of tasks. With the end of the fiscal year at the end of this month, authorizations for government funding will expire as well as current authorizations for both surface transportation and flood insurance. In addition, the federal borrowing limit was reached in August and the Treasury is expected to exhaust its ability to fully meet its obligations sometime in the middle of October.

In addition to these deadlines, House Democratic leadership is juggling political and policy questions related to the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package. As part of a deal struck with moderate Democrats demanding a stand-alone vote on infrastructure, Speaker Pelosi agreed that the House would consider the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) by September 27. Democratic leadership indicated on Tuesday, September 21, that the House would vote on the IIJA on September 27. House progressives are likely to vote against the IIJA, insisting that they first pass a reconciliation package to be sent to the Senate. The reconciliation package is not ready and is unlikely to be ready by next Monday.

House Republicans have been unwilling to commit to supporting the bill, claiming that it is inextricably linked to the larger reconciliation package. Without enough Republican votes to offset the progressive “no” votes, the bipartisan infrastructure package will fail.

NRMCA and its coalition partners are continuing to meet with congressional offices, both Republican and Democratic, to urge support for the IIJA. The coalition has engaged with House leadership of both parties as well as the White House, coordinating industry support for the IIJA. In addition, NRMCA and its coalition allies have sent many letters to congressional offices. Last week, many of NRMCA’s state affiliates joined in sending letters supporting the passage of IIJA to their state delegations. And most recently, NRMCA joined more than 110 organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated General Contractors and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, in sending a letter urging passage of the IIJA.

What can you do?

  • Call your representative. You can look up your representative here and call his or her office to express your support for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • Click here to send your representative a pre-written letter (feel free to edit) urging him or her to support the IIJA when it comes up for a vote.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

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   Euclid Chemical Company       Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc.    
Buildings

NRMCA recently verified a system level Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program for O&G Industries. The EPD was developed in consultation with and based on a software tool by Climate Earth. The software tool integrates life cycle analysis impacts within batch operating software to generate EPDs when desired. The software, underlying life cycle data for each plant and EPD was reviewed and verified by Sustainable Solutions Corporation, a verifier in NRMCA’s EPD program.

Four plants were included in the O&G Industries' verification project, including Bridgeport, Danbury and Stamford in Connecticut and Brewster, NY. Public access to this latest EPD verification is available on the NRMCA EPD website and is listed as: NRMCAEPD: 20044 - O&G Industries; this directory of EPDs report the impacts of ready mixed concrete from three plants in CT and one in NY.

The trend in reporting environmental, social and governance practices is growing and, with environmental impact criteria being specified in green building construction documents and proposed in state and local legislation, procurement decisions are expanding beyond price and performance. To date, the North American ready mixed concrete industry, including material suppliers, have invested into 85 verified EPDs with more than 35,000 products/mixes and is a leading materials industry that reports environmental impacts.

As part of the Build With Strength campaign, NRMCA promotes Strength Through Transparency for member and industry competitiveness in the green building marketplace and the trends toward product and company transparency.

For more information, contact James Bogdan at jbogdan@nrmca.org or 412-420-4138.

The responsible sourcing of construction materials is an increasing priority in high-profile construction projects and in public procurement. The Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC) is the only industry-specific system that certifies the sustainability performance of concrete plants and their supply chains. On Tuesday, October 26, at noon Eastern time NRMCA will host a webinar titled Responsible Sourcing with Concrete Sustainability to discuss the CSC which aims to improve transparency of the concrete sector, highlight the essential role of concrete as a sustainable construction material and be recognized in green construction standards.

If you would like to elevate your sustainability brand beyond EPDs and compete against other industry supply chain certifications, this webinar will explain why it matters and the information needed for your next steps.

In 2021 NRMCA became the Regional System Operator for the Concrete Sustainability Council (CSC) supply chain certification system. By adding the CSC program as an adjacent program to the environmental product declaration (EPD) program, NRMCA strives to add value to members in a growing world of business and sustainability transparency. As part of the Build With Strength campaign, NRMCA promotes Strength Through Transparency for member and industry competitiveness in the green construction marketplace and the trends toward product and company transparency.

Click here to register. For more information, contact James Bogdan at jbogdan@nrmca.org or 412-420-4138.

   Master Builder Solutions US LLC       Sika Corporation    
SEO

On Monday, following remarks by President Biden related to his Administration taking steps to combat extreme heat conditions across the nation, Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Marty Walsh stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is launching “…enhanced, expanded measures to protect workers from hazards of extreme heat, indoors and out.” Acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA Jim Frederick noted that, “while agricultural and construction workers often come to mind first when thinking about workers most exposed to heat hazards, without proper safety actions, sun protection and climate-control, intense heat can be harmful to a wide variety of workers indoors or outdoors and during any season.”

The “enhanced measures to protect workers better in hot environments and reduce the dangers of exposure to ambient heat” will cover virtually all industries as well as for indoor and outdoor environments. The specific actions will include:

                  - Prioritizes heat-related inspections on days when the heat index exceeds 80

                  - Implement procedures for breaks, water, rest, shade and other options

  • Development of a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections; and
  • An imminent proposed rulemaking this October, to “develop a workplace heat standard.”

Of particular and immediate importance to ready mixed concrete operations, OSHA has directed its area directors to:

  • Prioritize inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals and employer-reported illnesses and initiate an onsite investigation where possible;
  • Instruct compliance safety and health officers during their travels to job sites to conduct an intervention (providing the agency's heat poster/wallet card, discuss the importance of easy access to cool water, cooling areas and acclimatization) or opening an inspection when they observe employees performing strenuous work in hot conditions; and
  • Expand the scope of other inspections to address heat-related hazards where worksite conditions or other evidence indicates these hazards may be present.

NRMCA will continue to monitor OSHA’s actions on heat-related workplace hazards and advocate for beneficial industry outcomes both individually and in coordination with other industry stakeholders.

Click here to review the DOL announcement and here to review President Biden’s remarks on extreme heat. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rescinded Trump-era guidance related to Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting requirements. The now defunct guidance provided regulatory compliance direction for managing permitting of indirect water pollution. The previous guidance stemmed from the U.S. Supreme Court case County of Maui vs. Hawaii Wildlife Fund that questioned whether indirect pollution to waters of the U.S. was covered under the CWA and thus needed to be outlawed or permitted before it could occur. The Supreme Court’s ruling essentially said that yes, such pollution activity falls under the CWA, but there were exceptions. Following the court’s ruling the Trump EPA published guidance aiming to clarify when and what events could be covered under the CWA, consistent with the court’s ruling.

The current EPA has now decided that the Trump-era guidance is inconsistent with the court’s ruling and “was issued without proper deliberation.” Despite the withdrawal of the guidance, EPA has not stated what actions it will take to replace the guidance or whether it will issue new guidance.

Click here to review the EPA recission memorandum. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

Registration is still open for this year’s in-person Environmental Certification Course being held in Orlando, FL, November 30 – December 2. Course attendees will be educated on industry-specific environmental issues that affect ready mixed concrete production, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Discharge Permits, Stormwater Management, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Solids Management, Hazardous Materials, Dust Control, Recycling, Spill Prevention Plans, Air Quality Management, Noise Management, Environmental Auditing and much more.

Those who should attend include plant managers, environmental managers, compliance managers, executives or anyone with fiscal and/or environmental responsibilities who should know the details concerning a company’s responsibilities when it comes to EPA regulations, the Clean Water Act, Discharge Permits, Stormwater Management and numerous other critical environmental matters.

Click here to register or for more information. You may also contact Gary Mullings at gmullings@nrmca.org or Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

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As the foundation of modern society, concrete is the most widely used construction material on earth. Even small changes to its formulation can dramatically affect the construction industry’s carbon footprint over time. By preferring the use of Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) in specifications as a 1:1 replacement for portland cement, architects and engineers will enable meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions.

To address this issue, a webinar titled Portland Limestone Cement: A pivotal step in reducing embodied carbon in concrete has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 28, from noon to 1 p.m. Pacific time. Speakers include Tom Tietz, executive director of the California Nevada Cement Association (CNCA); Nathan Forrest, P.E., CNCA technical director and Tim Blake, CNCA consultant.

Click here to learn more and here to register.

Employees from Tremco/Nudura recently showed up in force to provide training and handholding for the Habitat for Humanity (HFH) home being built in Hartford, CT, reports NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Doug O'Neill. Tremco/Nudura's Zach Davidson, Bob Redmond and Ken Lynch provided the expertise while Dom DiCenzo (seen here at right on the jobsite along with industry colleagues) with the Connecticut Concrete Promotion Council joined O’Neill on the jobsite.

The industry team along with Habitat’s Kris McKelvie, Diana Gasca and several Habitat volunteers made quick work of the basement for this two-story ICF home. The concrete was donated by NRMCA Producer member TilCon Connecticut; other industry partners helping with this project include Tremco/Nudura donating the ICF block, American Pumping donating the concrete pumping services and NRMCA Associate member Euclid Chemicals donating the fibers for the concrete mix design which helped to eliminate much of the rebar on the project. As the project proceeds, NRMCA will continue to update.

For more information, contact Doug O’Neill at doneill@nrmca.org.

   Xypex Chemical Corp       MAPEI    
   GCP Applied Technologies       Penetron USA    
Calendar

Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

September 29 - October 3, Kissimmee, FL
NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks 2021
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

October 13, Free Virtual Conference
2021 Global Concrete Summit: High Performance
Sponsored by NRMCA, Grey Matters, Build With Strength and Pave Ahead
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-922-7995

October 18 - 20, Orlando, FL
Ready Mixed Concrete Safety Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

October 18 - 22, Online Course
CCSP Module I (“Concrete 101”- Technical/Product Knowledge)
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

   Kryton International       BCMI Corp.    

November 8 - 12, Linthicum/Baltimore, MD
NRMCA’s Concrete Technologist Training and Certification Course “Short Course”
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

November 9 - 11, Dallas
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

November 17, Free Virtual Conference
2021 Global Concrete Summit: Resilience
Sponsored by NRMCA, Grey Matters, Build With Strength and Pave Ahead
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-922-7995

November 30 - December 2, Orlando, FL
NRMCA Environmental Certification Course
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

December 7 - 10, Orlando, FL
Plant Manager Certification Course
Co-located with Florida Concrete & Products Association
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

December 7 - 9, Dallas
CCSP Module II (Understand the Concrete Contractor Business: Customer Business Knowledge)
Email: Mason Jean, 703-706-4853

December 15, Free Virtual Conference
2021 Global Concrete Summit: Low-Impact Development/Responsible Sourcing
Sponsored by NRMCA, Grey Matters, Build With Strength and Pave Ahead
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-922-7995

   Allen-Villere Partners       Fritz-Pak Corporation